Brookes vows to resume duel with Byrne at Donington this weekend
Australian Josh Brookes returns to the MCE British Superbike Championship this season after a year in the World Superbike Championship, and is aiming to resume where he left off after clinching the title in 2015.
Brookes is riding for the Swadlincote-based Anvil Hire Tag Yamaha team, and already has series legend Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne firmly in his sights ahead of this weekend’s opening round at Donington Park (31 March – 2 April).
“I’m pleased to be back in the British Superbike Championship, and the championship title is what we are aiming for” he commented. “To do that we need to beat ‘Shakey’. I’ve had a long running battle with him for years so I would like to pick up where we left off and continue our duel.”
The combative Australian won the 2015 MCE BSB title riding a Yamaha, something he says is a huge benefit after a pre-season affected by weather: “Of the five days of riding I’ve done on various tracks, they’ve all been affected by rain so it’s lucky that I’ve got great experience with the Yamaha from 2015, and I’ll be calling on that experience to get the ball rolling at round one.”
The Anvil Hire Tag Yamaha team are relatively new to the Superbike class. Having enjoyed great success in Supersport, the squad moved into Superbikes in 2014 and have tasted podium success since, but Brookes’ arrival is a major statement of intent. Despite the relative freshness of the team, Brookes believes the format of British Superbikes means there’s a strong chance he can aim for another title winning campaign: “The British series and the way it is run with the rules gives everyone a fair go, and smaller or less established teams still stand a fair chance of being competitive if they get all their things organised and have a rider that is capable of doing it.
“With that in mind, I think coming to this team who have had great success in Supersport, if everyone grows together and with my experience with the bike, I think we have every chance of success in the championship.”
And Brookes knows his way around Donington, with several strong results here in recent years. “I’ve had some amazing results at Donington, I did the double here in 2012 and if I think back to 2015 and my first time on a Yamaha, I was on the podium. I had my best World Superbike results at Donington too, so I’m sure this weekend I can be challenging right up there.”
Tickets for this weekend’s opening round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Donington Park are available upon arrival at the circuit. Friday entry costs £10, Saturday is priced at £15 and Sunday at £30. A weekend ticket giving entry for all three days costs £45 on the gate. Children aged 13 and free go free across the weekend. For more information, click here.